Pens vs. Flyers could get even dirtier 

December, 17, 2009

I have to say I'm really shocked to hear the big news from the NHL Board of Governors meetings that the league is looking at a second outdoor game to be played in Canada. Well, actually, I would've been shocked if I hadn't reported that last June. But, I did. Oh well.

OK, let's get to tonight's picks. I was a very respectable 4-2 last week. That was stunning news after being way off the mark for several straight weeks. Can I make it back-to-back weeks over the .500 mark? I'm feeling good! Here we go.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers
How many fights tonight? In the first half of this home-and-home battle between these hated rivals, there were three bouts in 16 seconds. I think they can do better tonight. I have no idea what's happened to the Flyers, but they are a mess. NHL Network analyst/two-time Cup winner Dave Reid did a great job of breaking down their defensive shortcomings during a recent edition of "On The Fly." Maybe Philly wins on home ice, but I can't pick them. I'll take the Penguins.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.